Out with the old
And in with the new
We closed the deal on the bar last Wednesday, and Noo drove a very hard bargain in making the previous owner pay for re-stocking the bar (as required in our agreement) and deducting a load of unpaid bills from the final settlement. Both Noo and her aunt seem to be very savvy people as far as business is concerned and I feel much encouraged.
We are now pressing on with our plans for the bar and have been busy buying this and that and planning in detail how we will run it – drinks prices, and so on. As you can see form the above pics, the new sign is now in place.
I have been setting up spread sheets to determine the unit costs of individual sales items, projected profitability etc., and on Thursday I purchased a POS, (Point of Sale), cash register, which is specifically designed for use in wine bars, delis etc.
Once programmed, the POS will issue printed bar tabs for each customer which will be updated as they re-order, and will list the drinks ordered. The cash register will have a separate button for each sales item so the cashier does not have to input prices.
The machine will provide a series of sales and stock reports at the end of each day and the data can be input and programmed from a PC and then up loaded/download to the machine. It was a little pricey, but considering what it will provide, I think it will prove to be money well spent.
The only fly in the ointment is trying to get this poor old head of mind around the not very well explained programming procedures which are set out in the 150 page manual, which I had to download form the internet as it only came with a Thai handbook!
The shop did offer to programme it for me, but I decided to do it myself so that I know exactly what it is going on if I have any problems and can change and add things without having to go running back to the shop each time.
I started yesterday and immediately hit what seemed like a major problem as much of the programming text had been overwritten in Thai, without any mention of this in either the Thai language manual or the English one. Anyway, I finally found a way round it, but it took me most of the day and I have barely started.
It’s a good job we’re not opening for a few weeks…
I have a thread running in the Thai Visa Pattaya forum to sound out opinions on the bar’s name, and also to ask the punters about their personal ‘likes and dislikes’ of the bars in and around Pattaya.
As a result of the feedback, you can see above that I have decided to name the bar, Mobi’s.
Yes, I know, not very exciting, but it is easy to remember and rolls of the tongue. The farangs will call it “Mobi’s” and the Thais will call it “Mobi-Bar” Also by using the name , Mobi, I will be able to tie it in with my other activities, i.e. blogging, writing, twittering, Face-booking and so on…
For those of you who live in Pattaya and are familiar with the ‘Darkside’ area, I have taken over the old “Nana-Bar”, (originally the Terrace Bar), which is located in the part of the Siam Country Club road that borders Lake Mabprachan in the the Nongprue municipality. It’s a couple of minutes’ walk from “Rendezvous resort”, going in a northerly direction towards the Siam Country Club golf course / large 7/11 road junction.
The bar is the corner bar of three bars set back in a little strip from the road, (the others being “Darkside 2” and “Number One Bar” .)
The large blue Mobi’s sign is clearly visible when driving around the lake.
The bar’s co-ordinates are:
(Note if you look at the street view, don’t be put off by the rather tatty looking bar, as it has since undergone substantial renovation)
To those who do not live in Thailand, but intend to visit us a visit sometime in the future, ‘The Darkside’ refers to the large residential area east of Pattaya, on the other side of the main Sukhumvit highway that runs through Pattaya, parallel to the beach, north to south. Some years go ‘The Darkside’ was devoid of street lighting, hence the name, but these days it has street-lights and is very large, growing area, providing homes for many thousands of foreigners in gated communities, as well as tens of thousands of Thais.
The road that borders Lake Mabprachan, as well as the nearby roads, have a number of bars, restaurants, shops, hotels and resorts scattered along its perimeter, many of them facing out onto the picturesque lake. These places are patronised by the foreign residents, ( mainly older population of ‘The Darkside’ ), who do not wish to go into the bright lights of Pattaya City for their afternoons/evenings out.
The distance from ‘Mobi’s’ to central Pattaya is approx. 15 kilometres – a 15-20 minute drive.
When fully up and running, Mobi’s will show Sky News and BBC (London) TV news in the day time, and all the major sport events in the afternoons/evenings, including The English Premier League Football, Grand Prix, golf, tennis etc. When there are no notable sports events to show, we will show rock concerts in the evenings and advertise them in advance.
More details on all this over the coming weeks.
A funny thing happened on my way to my bar last week. I was approaching the bar entrance when there was a drunken shout from the bar next door. It was from someone who I have written about several time in the past – one of the sad alcoholics who lives on the ‘Darkside’ and drinks beer from dawn to dusk. He starts off drinking at home, and then in the afternoon he drives around the lake to his chosen bar and drinks until dusk, at which point, he makes the 15 minute drive home – pissed out of his mind – and finally passes out, only to wake early the next morning and start all over again.
He used to be OK. He retired early from a decent job as an aircraft engineer and was a friendly guy to be with when you were out having drink. In the early days he had quite a large circle of drinking friends. Unfortunately as the years passed, the booze transformed him from a mild mannered, pleasant, drinking companion into a drunken, bumbling buffoon, who not only bores anyone who will listen with endless repeats of the same story, over and over, but has become more and more prone to sudden bouts of vicious temper.
When this happens, he will either turn on one or more of his long-time friends, or on some poor, unsuspecting stranger who happens to be drinking nearby. These outburst are incredible in their intensity; occur suddenly without any notice, and without any rhyme or reason.
If you didn’t know him and had seen it all before, these temper tantrums can be very scary, such is the intensity of the vile abuse which he vents on his chosen target at the top of his voice. If you move away to avoid a scene, he simply follows you and carries on screaming.
As you can imagine, I have had several run-ins with him through the years, but have always taken the view that it is the booze that is causing it, and have given him a lot of leeway. He even accused me once of having an affair with his wife which would have been laughable if it wasn’t so painfully ridiculous.
His drunken behaviour includes several occasions when he locked his wife and young daughter out of the house late at night with no transport, no money and nowhere to go – stuck in the middle of nowhere.
More than once, my then wife and I gave them sanctuary for a few days until he calmed down from his drunken rage. I could relate so many stories about his drunken behaviour through the years – some very funny, others painfully sad; like the time he tried to attack a Thai paraplegic in a wheel chair, and the time he went after his neighbours wielding a bayonet, but I think you can get the gist.
In recent times, his behaviour has deteriorated to such a degree that he has lost all his friends, and when he is out drinking, most people move to another bar if they see him there. He has already been banned from a number of bars.
The final straw as far as I was concerned was about 6 months ago, when I was chatting with another good friend of mine, and this drunken guy suddenly snapped and started screaming at my friend, who has also known him for many years.
Now I am the first to admit that I can be a bit outspoken at times, but this friend is the most mild-mannered gentleman you could ever hope to meet and has never spoken a bad word about anyone. In fact, through the years, many is the time he has given our drunken ‘ex-friend’ all kinds of practical help in his daily life.
The temper tantrum came from nowhere. My friend was outraged – as was I – and we resolved never to talk to the guy again –ever.
Fast forward to last Wednesday. Now, I had already decided that when the bar was open I would have the unpleasant duty of having to tell this drunk that he wasn’t welcome at my bar and I wasn’t particularly looking forward to it, as I knew it would create a scene.
So when this drunk shouted ‘hello’ to me, I said ‘hello’ back, but refused to stop and talk to him. He clearly wanted to chat and ask me about the bar, but I could see he was already sozzled and I wanted no part of it. So I walked to the back of the bar and did what I came to do.
About 30 minutes later, the drunk, who by this time was very angry, shouted at me and demanded to know why I had ignored him. I told him I hadn’t ignored him, I had said ‘hello’ but I was too busy to stop and chat.
The guy exploded and hurled so many abusive insults towards me in such a loud voice it must have been heard on the other side of the Lake. I immediately told him he was banned form my bar, which caused yet more paroxysms of anger and he threatened me with all manner of dire consequences.
Noo, my girlfriend, who was with me at the time, was so incensed by the drunk’s preposterous behaviour that she wanted to go after him.
We are talking about a 5ft, 46 kilo diminutive Thai lady against a 6ft, 90 + kilo, drunk!! I actually fancied her chances, but I did the decent thing and held her back. After all, the man is in the latter stages of alcoholic ‘wet-brain’ disease and we should feel sorry for him, rather than angry with him.
I was quite happy with this turn of events because I no longer had to worry about telling him he was banned at some future time when he might have been more sober and therefore better behaved. But the deed was done, and I could cross it of my list of TTD.
As for the drunk – he still couldn’t believe what had happened. He kept shouting at anyone who would listen that he had been banned from a bar before it had even opened!!
They all laughed at him – as did I. In the end it really was quite funny.
I won’t be writing any articles on current events this week, as I am very busy with all my bar activities and I need to get my POS register programmed, which will clearly take a few days to achieve. (it took me a couple of hours just to get the cash-box to open!!).
However, I will make a brief follow up to last week’s piece entitled “Shooting Themselves Silly…”
In that article I said:
“And can anyone please tell me when was the last time a crazed killer in the UK carried out a mass attack, causing multiple deaths, when wielding a knife?”
As many of you who follow the world news may know, barely was my blog published, than that’s exactly what did happen, albeit in the USA.
In Murrysville, Pennsylvania , a student armed with a knife went on a stabbing and slashing spree at a high school near Pittsburgh on Wednesday morning, leaving as many as 20 people injured, including four students who suffered serious wounds.
But…all of the victims were expected to survive…
It seems that crazed killers can indeed go on killing sprees in schools, so I was wrong.
But how many of the victims die? None, as far as I can see.
Guns vs knives?
Not a good day for the folks at the NRA; they will have to dream up even more nonsensical arguments to support their previous theory that knives in the UK are even worse than guns in America.